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Beijing condemns Taiwan referendum
Updated: 2004-02-25 21:58

A Chinese government spokesman Wednesday reiterated the denunciation of the referendum to be called by the Taiwan authorities on March 20, claiming that the separatism intention could never be concealed.

Li Weiyi, spokesman of the Taiwan Affairs Office under the State Council, said many residents of the island disapproved of the referendum and the international community also questioned its motives.

"The referendum is a plot to change the cross-Strait status quo and to sabotage the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait," Li said.

He said the "one-China" principle, which maintains Taiwan as an integral part of China, is the foundation of the stability and development of cross-Strait relations.

However, Taiwanese leader Chen Shui-bian had never endorsed the"92 consensus" reached by both sides in 1992 on a basis of accepting the "one-China" principle during his four years in office.

"On one hand, Chen is bent on pursuing a referendum that aims to split Taiwan from China, under the camouflage of democracy. On the other hand, he has professed to set up a so-called framework for cross-Strait peace and stability, which sounds an obvious deceit to island residents and the international community," Li said.

Meanwhile, the spokesman also expressed the mainland's wish to establish a closer economic and trade relations across the Strait,saying the mainland was willing to collect opinions from all circles of the island for a closer cooperative mechanism.

Wang Huapeng, deputy director of the Taiwan affairs office under the State Administration of Press and Publication, said the copyright trade, publishing cooperation and publication trade between the two sides had progressed rapidly in recent years.

The mainland imported 770 copyrights from Taiwan and exported 201 copyrights to the island in 1999. The figures rose to 968 and 459 respectively in 2000, and to 1,366 and 787 in 2001. The year 2002 saw a slight drop with imports down to 1,278 and exports to 755.

Since 2002, Taiwan publishers have invested in 42 publishing projects on the mainland, involving 214 million US dollars.

Wang said Taiwan publishers would receive official approval to set up book wholesale enterprises or chain stores on the mainland from Dec. 1.

Publishers on both sides had intensified exchanges in the publication, editing, distribution, printing, management and copyright trade since 1989.

In addition, Li Weiyi hoped the Taiwan government would lift the ban on mainland tourists.

The Taiwan authorities recently issued a regulation stipulatingthat only mainland residents living abroad could visit Taiwan on holidays, which was unreasonable and caused concern of Taiwan's tourism sector.

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